Entangled reads, 2 November 2018

The Mona Lisa doesn’t tweet, how Silicon Valley parents restrict the tech their kids use, Google repeats Facebook’s mistakes, dystopian network ads, and more…

Deep Work and attention

Social media is a symptom, not a tactic – ‘The Mona Lisa has a huge social media presence. Her picture is everywhere. But she doesn’t tweet. She’s big on social media because she’s an icon, but she’s not an icon because she’s big on social media.’

The Dumb Device Counterculture – I live in hope that one day ‘dumb devices’ won’t be considered countercultural, but a legitimate choice. We shouldn’t have to enslave ourselves in order to participate in modern society.

You are not a talent agent (so why do you work like one?) – another great piece from Cal Newport. Being in constant communication never used to be the norm, and is it really necessary – and are we any better for it?

A dark consensus about screens and kids begins to emerge in Silicon Valley – I find this highly significant. When Silicon Valley parents are terrified of giving their kids access to the technology they are creating, it’s time to take note.

Social media reform

Will Google’s homepage news feed repeat Facebook’s mistakes? – pretty sure this is a terrible idea. It’s an excellent time to switch to DuckDuckGo, as I have.

Twitter is thinking about killing the Like button — but don’t hold your breath – ‘Like buttons can encourage addiction to the platforms as people seek external validation, according to many psychology studies.’


Apple Pencil 2 Not Compatible With Older iPads and Original Apple Pencil Won’t Work With New Models – taking planned obsolescence to new depths. Related: Apple’s unit sales are now mostly flat in all categories, but their profits continue to rise due to price increases. This is likely to be their modus operandi for the foreseeable future. Apple users can expect to pay more and more for the privilege.

Security and privacy

Private messages from 81,000 hacked Facebook accounts were for sale – oops.

Information preservation

Why we’re changing Flickr free accounts – fair play to Flickr for adopting a sustainable business model, but this will screw over a lot of people who used to rely on Flickr. Nothing lasts forever on the web. The only platforms worth relying on are open platforms you control.

Fluff and nonsense

#PhonesAreGood – this advert from the Three network is the most dystopian thing I’ve seen on the web in a while (and as a student of the Entanglement that’s saying something).

72 Hours Offline: A Digital Detox Experience – the delicious irony of a digital detox fluff piece that claims ‘you deserve time to breathe, without notifications, without phone calls, without emails’ one moment and then pleads for engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and via email the next.

Header image © lee_photo / Shutterstock

Author: Alex Roddie

Writer and editor.